Yeah, I would not be bold enough to try this branch online. Easy setup for heartbreak until they get the kinks out.
I have been doing some single player in Navagene, and it took me a while to get the rhythm of using bandages to replenish health max, then replenishing stamina/health with food. Always bandage before eating evidently.
Still struggling through the perk trees, but I think they actually flow decently. It is actually good to not have to loot zombies, and when they do drop a bag it is really good for you, especially early in the game. The way experience works now killing Zs is the best way to advance quickly.
Killing zombies using the big hit via melee seems pretty easy. I am sure on the server this is troublesome as lag would screw up your timing, but definitely in SP the level 1 wooden club is effective, as is the iron reinforce. Specing those perks help as well. I do not understand the “melee is hard” crowd, except to figure they are running online - and the bow is probably better online.
The Z AI is better, these changes are long over due. It still needs more variety though, as wandering hoards all make a conga line for you and this makes for an efficient XP farm. They really need to spread out in these cases. But digging down, jumping, climbing, destroying is better. Spiders can leap like a frog now, and at quite a distance. Really dangerous.
The POIs are definitely more challenging. I am beginning to loath the light technique to guide you linearly though every one. ruins the immersion. This should have been used sparingly. Some of these really need to just be buildings with self discovery instead of ‘let’s play Half-Life’…